From Library Journal
Hughes (master of Campion Hall, Oxford Univ.) bases this study on Aristotle's central ethical work, the Nicomachaean Ethics. He astutely shows how a proper understanding of Aristotle's ethics depends on making distinctions concerning his key concepts, prime among which are eudaimonia and arete. Most writers uniformly translate the former as "happiness" and the latter as "excellence," but Hughes show how a correct understanding depends on the particular context in which Aristotle uses the terms. Therefore, where appropriate, he uses "happiness" or "fulfillment" or even "human flourishing" for eudaimonia and "virtue," "excellence," "skill," and "being good at," for arete. This method, he feels, more accurately captures what the ancient philosopher was intending. And these subtle distinctions do, indeed, enable the reader to understand better the main orientation of the Ethics, as a treatise on how individuals ought to live in order to achieve a fulfilled life. Hughes intended this to be "an accessible introduction to Aristotle for people coming to him for the first time," and in this he has succeeded. Whether or not the reader agrees with Aristotle's thinking is another question, but a thoughtful consideration of this book would at least enable him or her to debate it. For academic and public library collections. Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personal Management Lib., Washington, DC
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
'This clearly written introduction is much to be welcomed His interpretation struck me as judicious, and he is good at identifying central interpretative cruxes and inviting readers to make up their own minds.' - Times Literary Supplement
'Aristotle on Ethics is a stellar example of what texts of this sort should be. Anyone coming to Aristotle for the first time, or wanting to refresh their experience, would be very well served by Hughes' study. It would surely be suitable for courses at any level that take up Aristotle's ethics. The book is extremely well written: clear, focused, nuanced and cogently reasoned ... in all, reading this book was a genuine philosophical pleasure and I recommend it highly as a gateway to Aristotle's ethical thought.' - Utilitas
'Glossary, bibliography and indexes all contribute to making this book the beginner's friend.' - International Review of Biblical Studies